In Celebration of

Marianne "Mary" Kiska

August 28, 1963 -  October 12, 2020

In loving memory of our dear Mary, who passed away unexpectedly on Monday, October 12, 2020 at age 57 years. Beloved wife of Ron. Loving mother of Julia (Paul). Dear sister of Julie (Doug) and John and aunt of David, Emily, Sean and Cate. Mary was always giving, never taking. She was caring, loving, compassionate and had the biggest heart in the world. She loved spending time at the cottage and with family and friends where she was well known for her smile, sense of humour and infectious laugh. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and all who knew her.

Private Family Funeral Services will be held at Pinecrest Remembrance Chapel. Family and Friends can view the service by copying and pasting the link into your browser.

If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to Salvation Army, Ottawa Grace Manor.

You are invited to share in the creation of the memorial site by adding a condolence and any remembrances, photos, and video clips appropriate to the life of Marianne "Mary" Kiska. Simply click on the following link and start sharing your valued memories.


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Shirley Hainey (Friend)

Entered October 14, 2020 from Nepean

Ron, Julia and Paul,

I am so very sorry for your loss.

It was a treat to be a part of Mary's life as she could also see the bright side of everything and everyone.

As you know I spent many years working, playing and laughing with Mary. She was an amazing woman and I loved her to bits. I will cherish all of the memories, conversations, laughs and funny stories of our journey together over the past 25 or so years.

Sending big hugs and strength to the entire family at this difficult time.

Shirley Hainey

Sylvie DesHaies (Friends)

Entered October 14, 2020 from Kingston, Ontario

My sincerest condolences. I worked with Mary for many years. May she Rest In Peace.

Christine Nolan (friend)

Entered October 14, 2020 from Ottawa

I can't believe you are gone, my dear friend. Rest in peace, I promise to look out for Julia for you xoxo

Nunzia Parent (Friend)

Entered October 14, 2020 from Ottawa

I will always remember Mary's bright smile, giving heart, and wonderful sense of humor. She will be deeply missed. My condolences to Julia, Ron and John and the Kiska family
May God bless my dear friend Mary and her family.

Josee Mondoux (long time friend and work colleague)

Entered October 14, 2020 from Ottawa

My deepest condolences to the family. Ron/Julia, please know that everyone that crossed Mary's path is terribly saddened by her sudden loss. She was so full of life, so compassionate and brought laughter everywhere she went. I was lucky enough to work with Mary at MD, CBC and CMPA. I will dearly miss our get togethers and swapping stories with her. She leaves behind very fond memories.

Life Stories 

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Doug Talbot (brother-in-law)

Entered October 16, 2020 from Ottawa

Thoughts about my lovely sister-in-law:

Mary was my sister-in-law. I first met Mary back in the 1980s. She made me feel right at home with the Kiska family from very first minute I met her. At that time, I was a smoker, and while I don’t remember the exact words Mary said when I first met her, they were something like ”Oh good, you’re a smoker. Here, have a glass of wine! He’s a keeper, Juice”. And we both burst out laughing.

From then on, there were loads of things to love about Mary. Like how much she loved her daughter Julia; how deeply she cared for Nan, and John, and my wife, Julie; the way she snorted when she really got laughing hard; the way she absolutely loved a celebration or party; the way she decorated her house for almost every holiday imaginable; the way she decorated our house whether we wanted to or not; how she loved candles, and soap, and knick-knacks; and just how much she enjoyed life. There are so many things that come to mind when I think of my sister-in-law, but here are just two things that made her very special to me:

1/ Mary was one of the most generous people I have ever known. She loved to give. It didn’t matter how big or small. It was the sheer joy of giving that gave Mary so much pleasure. You could see it in her eyes and her smile, and you could hear it in her laughter. She was one of the most kind and generous people that I have ever known. And she had a fantastic sense of humour. For many years now, we have always held Christmas Eve at our house. One year, after it took us about eight hours to open presents, the family talked briefly about not giving each other Christmas gifts anymore. Mary was mortified. “Well, we still have to give the kiddie’s gifts. It just wouldn’t be right” she said. “And it’s always nice to have a little something for the adults” she said. So after some discussion, it was decided that we would give each ‘modest’ Christmas loot bags. Mary, of course, filled shopping bags full of goodies for everyone. She simply loved to watch everyone’s reaction when they opened their gifts. I remember one year, one of things she gave me was a “penis and testicles” sock warmer. As I was opening the gift, Mary started laughing. When I finally unwrapped the thing, it was about 15” long. And as I was holding it up, trying to figure out what the hell it was, Mary said “Do you think it’ll fit?” and started ‘snorting with laughter’, tears pouring down her cheeks. Christmas will never be the same without her.

2/ Mary made people feel special. Julie and I have hosted many family functions over the years. And Nan, John, and Mary have always been great with our kids. But, in particular, I used to love seeing what Mary would pull out of her pocket or purse after she had arrived. One time it would be candy or gum, or stick-on-nails for Em, or ‘crazy bones’ for Dave. After one visit, the kids looked like smarties because they were covered from head-to-toe in water-soluble tattoos. In fact, it was Mary who bought our daughter her first real tattoo when she turned 18. On one of these occasions, I cooked roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner because I knew that Mary and Nan both ‘liked their beef’. Between the two of them, they probably pounded back half the roast. And with every mouthful, Mary raved about it. “Oh. my. God. This is so good!” she said over and over. It really wasn’t that good. I mean, it was okay, but Mary made me feel like Gordon Ramsey that day. Like I say, Mary just had a way of making everybody feel special. But the truth of the matter is that she was the one that was so special.

Words cannot express how much I am going to miss her.

Doug Talbott (Julie Kiska’s husband)

Julie Kiska (Sister)

Entered October 16, 2020 from Ottawa

Dear Mary

You have left us far too soon. We were going to be able to spend more time together since I had retired this year and you were unable to work due to the current situation. We were still holding out hope that we could go down south again this winter as we had done last January. Our last outing a couple of weeks ago was a 4 hour marathon at IKEA. That one didn’t need to be repeated for awhile 😊 but there were so many other things that I was looking forward to doing with you.

Your greatest achievement was being a mother and friend to Julia. You were so proud of her and all her accomplishments. While I was going through my twenties partying and living life with no responsibilities you were raising Julia and putting yourself through school to get your accounting degree. Ron came into your life during those years and together you were a fabulous team.

Some of our fondest memories are the family get togethers for birthdays and holidays. You were always the life of the party. Your greatest joy was seeing someone’s face light up when you had bought the perfect gift for them. Our kids will always remember the Auntie Mary goodie bags they received for every holiday occasion. These events will never be the same without you but I know that you would want us to continue to all get together and remember you on these special occasions.

You always amazed me with your kindness, generosity and selflessness. You were always putting the needs of others first and we all benefited from this. When you decided to give up your accounting career to become a PSW some of us may have thought you were crazy. After a number of those back breaking days during your practical term you may have thought the same thing. Once you started working with the elderly and relaying some of the stories of your time at the Grace everyone knew you were doing what you loved. It takes a special person to do what you did and I think you were rewarded with the love that your “people” as you called them gave you in return.

During the last few days the outpouring of love for you has been overwhelming. This was no surprise as I have witnessed this many times over the years. Mary, I will forever hear your infectious laugh. I hope that when any of us think of you, and I’m sure that will be often, we will do so with a smile on our face and not tears. That’s exactly what you would have wanted.

Love always

Emily Talbott, via Julie Kiska (Neice)

Entered October 16, 2020 from Ottawa

Mary and I had spoken recently about a story Emily had written when she was 12 years old. She remembered it clearly but wasn’t sure if she still had the copy of it. I think it sums up what she felt about her. I would imagine that all the other nieces and nephews would share Emily’s sentiments. For anyone reading this here is what she wrote:

My aunt is so cool, she is my mom’s sister (Auntie Mary). We do loads together including spa days, sleepovers, shopping dates. When I turn 13 she has planned a trip to the United States for a shopping date. It will be awesome because I will get to go shopping in all the stores I’ve never been to, and spend quality time together just the two of us.

I get along great with her! There’s something that tells me I’m like a sister to her and I feel the same way. Instead of parenting me on pointless stuff, she lets me be a teenager, to make my own decisions. Although I do like her help once in a while when my mom can’t help or is to busy with work.

One day my aunt and I planned a sleepover, it was pouring rain, grey storm clouds and just a plain bad day. So we decided to head out and buy lunch and a movie.

For lunch we went to McDonalds restaurant. We walked into the greasy joint and ate our meals as quickly as we could, then left back to the car. My aunt put her had in her pocket and searched for her keys, but wait, she noticed her keys were not there. She put her hands on the glass, peeked through the car window and saw her keys lying on her car seat. She had locked us out of the car! She shipped our her cell phone and called the CAA for help.

Once they arrived and helped us with the emergency we got safely back into the car and drove back to her house to lay out our chips and skittles we had bought. We also set up the beds downstairs for the night.

This story has given us lots of things to help us talk in the past years. I has made us laugh, cry and it helped us connect with each other.

There are a ton of benefits I got from my relationship with my aunt. One of them is that we are happy around each other, were not trying to act differently with each other. This could have only happened if we both contributed to the relationships.

I love my relationship with my aunt and I would never change it for the world.

David Talbott (nephew)

Entered October 22, 2020 from Ottawa

First and foremost, thank you everyone for the kind words I’ve seen online. Thank you for attending this service whether in person or online, and I hope that you are healthy and safe during this time.
I remember when I was a lot younger, I would often get jealous of my sister Em. Mary would spoil us with a fun day of activities, whether it was an outing to the bowling alley, the movies, whatever fun thing she could think of. And when the day was done, I would have to go home while Em would get to stay at Mare and Ron’s for a sleepover. The reason for my absence? My extremely sensitive allergies to Bubs the cat – unlucky for me… I remember the feeling of exasperation, knowing that Em got to stay, hang out, and party with “the cool adult”… no offence Mom, Dad, Ronnie, John… you guys are pretty cool too I guess.
Mary gave Em and I so much more than just material things like trips to the movies, though. It is from people like her that I learned what unconditional love really meant, and how important and special it is to share this love with your family and your loved ones. That being said, I don’t mean to sound overly serious – I can picture her listening to me right now, blushing and saying “oh, shush” – she must take after her Nan. With her there, I knew that any family gathering was bound to be full of fun and laughter, thanks to the energy she brought. It is this energy that, by and large, keeps families together. Mary is and was, without question, one of the most influential people to me.
When you lose someone so suddenly and unexpectedly, I feel as though it takes on such an unbelievable form that you repeatedly trick yourself into believing it hasn’t happened. As I wrote and rewrote what I’m saying today, I feel pangs of anxiety hit me as I continuously come to this realization. Mary, Ronnie, Ju, Johnny, Mom… from the bottom of my heart I love you. I’m always here to talk and hang out while we hold on to Mary’s memory together. Rest in peace Mary.


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